80 year old Gopalan was a manager of Uttaradi Matha near Kumbakonam and was working to remove encroachments in a legal manner after intervention by the High Court has been murdered. He was murdered on June 30th. Gopalan lived in Mada Vilagam Street with his family. His son Vasudevan is the RSS zonal secretary.
The premises of the Uttaradi Matha Nacchiyaar Kovil near Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district had 14 shops which had defaulted on several lakhs of rupees of rent to the Matha but continued to occupy the space. As the tenants defaulted in paying the meager rents that was fixed some 25 years ago, the Matha administration instructed Gopalan to launch an investigation and eviction proceedings against them. During investigation it was reveal that many had even let out the properties to someone else and were receiving higher rents. Gopalan’s continuous efforts to vacate them had failed due to the political clout and muscle power of the tenants.
In 2012, Gopalan approached the courts to get the illegal squatters evicted and got orders in favour of the Matha. However, the legal battle continued and in March this year the court issued an order to evict a tailor named Saravanan who was running a tailoring shop.
On 30th night at about 7.30 pm, Gopalan was hacked to death near his house at the tank bund. He was rushed to hospital where he was declared brought dead. Based on his son Vasudevan’s complaint, police registered a case. Soon, the police arrested Tailor Saravanan, who was the last one to be evicted as per court orders. However, his involvement in the murder has been suspected as Saravanan was a student of Gopalan and both knew each other well.
Moreover, local residents who spoke to this correspondent said that Saravanan who was in a inebriated condition that night could not have inflicted such deep injuries. They suspect it to be the handiwork of some professional killers which resembles 'Jihadi type of killings'.
Gopalan's son Vasudevan is yet to come out of the shock of death of his father. He spoke to this correspondent and said “Upon instructions from the Matha head, my father took the legal recourse in redeeming the properties from defaulters and succeeded in his efforts. There were 14 shops. After taking possession, the tiled roof structure was dismantled to avoid further encroachments. I am told Saravanan was arrested”.
CAA and illegal sand mining angles also suspected
A family friend who was with them at the hospital told that he saw the body at the morgue with deep wounds. "Saravanan alone could not have done this. He might have the help of some others", he said. Vasudevan had arranged a public meeting in January to generate support for the CAA in which BJP’s national secretary H Raja had spoken. Hence, the residents suspect that some outfit utilised the opportunity to eliminate Gopalan.
Eight years ago Raja Mohammad while addressing a public meeting spoke against a particular community and threatened that their heads would be severed off. Gopalan had brought it to the notice of the police and urged that a complaint be filed. Gopalan was successful in stopping the flow of sewage into the Srinivasar Temple tank which was let out by the residents.
Andhanar Munnetra Kazhagam poster seeks justice and 25 lakh compensation to Gopalan and protection to the Brahmin community in the state
Sources say that Vasudevan, Gopalan and others were against also ‘Sand quarry mining mafia’ too and they were keeping a tab on the illegal quarrying at Thirumalairajan River at Kovanur panchayat area. Vasudevan and others petitioned the District collector to take action against the illegal quarrying. Incidentally, none of the political parties including ruling AIDMK, opposition DMK or the local media have condemned the murder or sought any compensation for the family.
Locals say Gopalan was hacked to death in a lurid manner which was identical to one adopted by a particular religion. Saravanan who was a student of Gopalan and known to the family for a longer time would not have done this, they say.
Vasudevan said former Panchayat president Kuppuswamy was also a tenant on the Matha land where he lent out to the Congress and later Tamil Maanila Congress party offices but had not bothered to pay any rent all these years. As a president of the local body he tried to pass a resolution that the land was a promboke land and did not belong to the Uttaradi Matha. When the court asked him to evict, he and his supporters picked up a fight with Gopalan.
Andhanar Munnetra Kazhagam has demanded a compensation of Rs 25 lakhs from State government. It's president Advocate Rajali C Jayaprakash has urged the CM to protect Hindu organisations and its leaders who are being increasingly targeted. He asked the TN CM to convene a meeting of Brahmin associations to assure of them of protection. Tamil Nadu Brahmin Association (Tambras) said they would not be cowed down by such attacks on their community.